by Pastor Mark Shupe
It is the month of Love, highlighted by that special day for that special someone in your life. Love is not only in the air, but also a highly popular topic on the internet. A Google search on the word “love” returned 21,140,000,000 results in 0.63 seconds with all kinds of ideas, thoughts and definitions of this commonly used word.
With so much information and hype about love, it’s easy to miss the deeper meaning of the word. What is true love? Is it simply a “strong affection for another” as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary? Or is it only some kind of weird emotion that stirs within us? One definition I heard from a philosopher years ago goes like this: “Love is a feeling you’re going to feel, when you have a feeling you feel you have never felt before.”
When considering the deeper meaning of love, it helps to look to the original Creator and Author of love – God Himself! We read in 1 John 4:7-8 that “God is love” and “love is from God.” So, what does God have to say about this mysterious and wonderful concept of love?
The kind of love that God defines, and that which Christ so perfectly modeled for us, is much deeper than an affection or strong emotion. This kind of love is a commitment to relate to others in a giving, sacrificial and other-centered manner. It involves laying down our own lives for the sake of others. It means daily choosing to place the interests of others above our own, giving preference to others, honoring and forgiving others.
As Dave Willis states in his book The 7 Laws of Love: “Love is an unconditional commitment to selflessly serve, truthfully communicate, fearlessly protect, gracefully forgive, compassionately heal, and enduringly remain in relationship with and for the sake of another.”
Think of ways you can demonstrate the deeper and lasting meaning of love to those in and around your life. And then go and show forth the true love of Christ.